May 4, 2014 | By: A Woman

losing yourself in the realm of validation - Day 471

Candy Broad Stretched Canvas Print

This is a blog response to the blog - Day 528: The Value of Validation by Activist's Journey To Life.


"In terms of my own experience, I can now clearly see the benefit of my dad's actions. He only would congratulate me or tell me he was proud when I actually accomplished something of note, and even that was not so much a "congratulations" but more of an acknowledgement of what I had done and a reflective discussion. I have to almost laugh - it is so difficult to describe how he would talk to you and bring such clarity to a point - I feel as though my words fall short. He encouraged me to do what I enjoyed simply because I enjoyed it. He did not tell me how great I was for actually doing something, he would just say "cool" - while on the other hand every other adult kept pushing the "well done" button, not realizing that in doing so they were creating the perfect habitat for dependance to take hold, which causes the desire for validation to outweigh the point of self expression."


A few years ago, I was playing with my nephew when he was 2 years old or less. We were outside at my parent's house and the kid started to investigate the miracle of a 'ball'. Lol - miracle because for children, an object that they are exposed to for the first time, it is like magic - they are exploring its component, shape, abilities and every moment is an experience that is so profound. So - when he realize that he can also use his legs and kick the ball, I was standing there, and without awareness of what it is that I'm actually doing, I accessed an automated preprogramming where I cheered him up every time he kicked the ball - you know - high pitch sounds of "wow"; "well done"; "you are the best" combined with lots of positive energies.


I didn't realize  at that moment that I am busy conditioning his expression within his relationship to the ball whereas, I created a moment for him to 'please me' when he kicked the ball because every time he kicked the ball, I cheered him up and if I said nothing, he just stood there, looking at me, expecting to receive a form of feedback,  rather than simply enjoying expressing himself with a ball and exploring what the ball and he can do with/for each other. So long as I participated with giving him positive feedback, he played with the ball. The moment I stopped, he stopped.


The interesting thing was that when he explored other things like for instance, gardening, he did it for hours - just him and the tools, the grass, the flowers, the leafs, the water - he was stoppable - really was enjoying himself with all that was there. No one gave him positive or negative feedback in relation to gardening and so, he could continue doing it for hours because the experience was not  conditioned to any sort of energy - it was simply a physical expression of enjoyment in exploring, discovering gardening/nature.


When I read the blog: "The Value of Validation" - the memory above came up - it was the first time that I realized how adults are influencing the child's self-expression by conditioning the expression to be dependent on specific result; Result as in how the adult reacts to a specific expression that the child is experiencing - If the adult react positively, the child will continue expressing themselves in the same way so that they are able to be rewarded with the positive feedback (Energy) they received from the adult and if the adult react negatively, the child will either stop expressing themselves completely (Suppressing themselves) or the child will express themselves secretly.


The thing is - as we grow up, we conditioned ourselves to other peoples' feedback and we completely disregard the questions - who am I in relation to this experience? Am I enjoying myself? Am I doing it for others? Am I doing it to please the adult? Am I doing it for myself? Why am I doing it? Is it supporting me and/or others?


I was one of these kids that wanted to make my parents proud in all ways possible and therefore, I would only do what I perceived to make them feel proud of me; and the things that would make them feel ashamed of me - I kept in secret or suppressed. Within that, I lost myself from the perspective of neglecting or avoiding doing the things I enjoyed doing as an expression of myself, and doing only that which will give me a reward, a positive feedback. It is quite sad when I look at this point - losing yourself in the realm of validation and positive feedback - I guess we were all conditioned to behave that way - we mold ourselves according to the feedback we get from our environment, generation after generation. I wonder how much more we can give to each other if we would change that preconditioning inside ourselves and support the children to discover self expression, self enjoyment. 




Art work: Dottie Gleason










Blaž Cegnar said...

Yeah, people usually have this chronic urge to talk energetically to children, with high pitched voices of praise where no one realizes how ridiculous it is and how it affects the children. Good point, thanks for sharing.

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